2019 AFA Conference Wrap – Unity and Unintended Consequences


The 2019 AFA Conference demonstrated a new-found momentum for unity across the advice and financial services sector.

Unity was the theme of this Conference and it was manifested in a number of ways for the more than 500 delegates, including:

  • The attendance of FPA CEO, Dante De Gori for the duration of the Conference. This is the first occasion on which the FPA CEO has attended the AFA Conference.
  • The presentation of the four annual adviser Awards at a single event – the gala Conference dinner, rather than at separate events conducted by the individual sponsors (see: 2019 AFA Adviser Award Winners & …2019 AFA Adviser of the Year)
  • A public commitment made by the CEOs and executive team management of four insurers: MLC Life Insurance, Zurich, AIA Australia and TAL, to collaborate to the extent allowable under law to drive process and other efficiencies for the benefit of advisers and their clients

Another critical and recurring message at the Conference related to the issue of unintended consequences.

This issue was raised with Assistant Minister, Senator Jane Hume,  following her address to delegates on the first day of the Conference.

We’re actually seeing an increase in the number of people applying …to become financial advisers

In response to a question from Riskinfo about the potential unintended consequences of regulatory reform leading to fewer advisers delivering less advice to less Australians, Senator Hume – while acknowledging the challenges facing some advisers to achieve the new minimum standards – nonetheless pointed out that the number of registered advisers ha2 increased by 40 percent since 2009:

“We’re actually seeing an increase in the number of people applying …to become financial advisers because they can see that this is a profession that they admire and that they want to get into….”

The Senator also assured advisers that her Government is listening to their concerns and that they are taking those concerns onboard.

Senator Jane Hume with podcast interviewer, Fraser Jack, following her address to delegates at the 2019 AFA Conference

Highlights of the Conference included quality and relevant presentations from keynote speakers including former Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, UK advice business best practice consultant, Michelle Hoskin, wine industry entrepreneur, Warren Randall, ethicist, Clare Payne and Thai caves rescue hero, Dr Richard Harris.

Delegates also heard MLC Life Insurance CEO, David Hackett, Zurich Life & Investments Chief Distribution Officer, Kristine Brooks, TAL CEO, Brett Clark and AIA Australia CEO, Damien Mu, in a reasonably rare joint appearance at which the notion of a more united approach to addressing key industry issues was discussed…

A broad array of topics and issues relevant to advisers and advice businesses was also made available to delegates in the form of other presentations, ‘Meet the Professionals’ and ‘Meet the Innovators’ opportunities.

Zurich and OnePath shared a united presence for the first time at the 2019 AFA Conference…

Relevant content was complemented by a variety of official and unofficial social events which offered more networking opportunities for delegates during a time when sharing views on current issues proved of value to many.

2019 AFA Female Excellence in Advice Award winner, Wealthwise adviser, Dawn Thomas, flanked by AFA CEO Phil Kewin (L) and TAL CEO, Brett Clark



    • Good question Ken – I thought the same when I read the article. Senator Hume says there has been a 40% increase in advisers since 2009, and therein lies the problem. We’re talking about the last 18 months since LIF was introduced and that should have been made clear when the question was asked. Senator Hume assures us that the govt is listening to adviser’s concerns. If that is the case, then why did her predecessor, Kelly O’Dwyer thank the FSC and others for their input which all led up to the introduction of LIF? That’s not listening to the advisers! I also read above that 4 insurers are “to collaborate to the extent allowable under law to drive process and other efficiencies for the benefit of advisers and their clients.” I sincerley hope that rhetoric means they are all going to collaborate with the AFA and tell the govt that LIF MUST change!

  1. I have been going to the AFA for nearly thirty years and there was about one hundred advisors I was at one meeting and I counted sixty advisors there most of the people there was mostly indoor staff next year if it’s not in Melbourne I am resigning they have not had a meeting for about twelve years I am fed up travelling to other states over all I would give it fore out of ten when are the FPA and theAFA going to merger because both of these associations will collapse we need a union to protect advisors not these two

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